Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Palm Video

I'm having trouble nailing down which video formats are supported by the native video viewer. One important issue I've discovered so far: the movie dimensions are limited to the screen resolution of 320x320. Given that most videos are shot in the 5x4 aspect ratio (as opposed to HDTV's 16x9) this means that we need to pay special attention to the width versus height. Furthermore, there is not an option to scale the image, say to double size, as as you might expect to do with a video sized at 160x112. Oddly, it will scale JPG images.

Some websites are reporting that the TE will display several different file formats, but the only one that has worked thus far is MPG. Notable failures include AVI, RM, and MOV. Some MPGs also will not display, presumedly due to an incorrect codec. Unfortunately, failures are always reported with the same generic error message.

Ideally, we should be able to pull programs off a DVR, like MythTV, drop them on the SD ram card, and use the Palm as a portable video player. As with many of the other features of our present consumer devices, it seems that it is not meant to be. A quick look at the an hour long episode of Star Trek seems to indicate an AVI size of 105MB, captured at 320x240, using a Divx Codec. Another episode, captured in MPEG, took 445MB. Given the cost of the media, initial indications do not look promising.

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